DiscoverThe Baffling Behavior Show {Parenting after Trauma}
The Baffling Behavior Show {Parenting after Trauma}
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The Baffling Behavior Show {Parenting after Trauma}

Author: Robyn Gobbel

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Formerly the Parenting after Trauma podcast, internationally recognized children's mental health expert Robyn Gobbel decodes the most baffling behaviors for parents of kids with vulnerable nervous systems. If you're parenting a child who has experienced trauma or toxic stress or a child with a neuroimmune disorder, sensory processing, or other nervous system vulnerability, this show will let you know you are not alone. You can stop playing behavior whack-a-mole because Robyn offers you tools that actually work. 

You can become your child's expert, feel more confident as a parent, and bring more connection and clarity into your family.

Educators, therapists, coaches and consultants- you too can learn all about what behavior really is and become more effective at helping the families you support. You can love your work again!

248 Episodes
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“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” ~Carl RogersYou know, one of my favorite things about studying relational neuroscience is discovering the science that proves things we’ve known all along. Not everyone needs the science, and I know some think the science detracts from the powerful truths that people have been brave enough to say and believe without having science to back it up. I think both approaches are fine. I just happen ...
Do the Watchdog and Possum pathway only activate in protection mode? Are they always protective?NO! It is possible to have safe and connected Watchdog energy and safe and connected Possum energy!Why does this distinction matter?In this episode, you’ll learnWhat safe and connected watchdog energy feels likeWhat safe and connected possum energy feels likeWhy it’s important to remember we aren’t trying to get rid of the watchdog or the possum- we are trying to help them rest and only work hard w...
What does my child need for their success to be inevitable?If I wanted to paint the top of a 20 foot wall, I’d rent some scaffolding. Scaffolding makes the floor higher and would get me as close to the top of the wall as I needed. The scaffolding would help make my success inevitable. It’s not the only thing I need to be successful (paint would come in handy!), but it’s a really important piece. In parenting, scaffolding is the support that we put in place that allows ...
Janet Nordine is a registered play therapist, adoptee, and mental health activist working tirelessly to improve children’s mental health services, specifically in the state of Nevada. Janet has an important message for adoptees that I think is relevant to all kids and families who are supporting kids with vulnerable nervous systems:There is nothing wrong with you. You’ve done nothing wrong. You can be OK.In this episode, exploreHow to help create ‘good parent messages’ for children who f...
Self-regulation is a crucial developmental milestone and I’m thrilled that we are turning our eyes toward self-regulation instead of staying focused on behavior modification through rewards and consequences. At the same time, we must remember that self-regulation is developed through repeated and regular experiences of co-regulation with an attuned, regulated, present caregiver. If children are struggling to use their self-regulation skills, it’s quite possible that they aren’t re...
What’s the connected response to {insert difficult behavior here}??How do I respond to {insert difficult behavior here} in a connected way???I get some version of this question almost every day. So, let’s answer it here on the podcast!In this episode, you’ll learnWhat most parents are really asking when they ask ‘what’s the connected response’?What a connected response really isHow to trust your own intuition to answer that questionResources mentioned in this podcast:Felt Safety (Inside) - Pa...
It’s normal and common for stress and dysregulation to cause kids to act younger than they really are. This happens to grown-ups too! Simply because it’s normal and common doesn’t mean it’s not very frustrating!In this episode, you’ll learn A neurosequential explanation for regressionHow to use regression as a cue or a clue about the state of your child’s nervous systemWays to respond to regressed behavior that may increase regulation, connection, and felt safetyResources mentioned in th...
I’m sure you often feel like ‘getting your kid regulated’ is a very important goal!But- is it? Is regulated the goal? And is it possible to even consider these kinds of questions when we are parenting very dysregulated kids with very dangerous behaviors?In this episode, you’ll learnThe difference between a moment of being regulated and having a regulated (balanced) nervous systemHow regulation and dysregulation must coexistWhy thinking about any of this high-level stuff when you have REAL PRO...
Believe it or not, we don’t want to get rid of our kids’ watchdog and possum brains!We want to help their watchdog and possum brain rest so they aren’t working so hard.Their watchdog and possum brains are overworked and overactive.In this episode, you’ll learnWhy we must remember that everyone has a watchdog and possum brainHow gratitude and acceptance of the watchdog and possum brain strengthens the owl brainWe don’t want to get rid of our children’s watchdog and possums brains- we want to h...
When I work with parents whose child spends a lot of time on the possum pathway, I warn them that sometimes possum kids become watchdog kids before the finally have a nice, strong owl brain.Because watchdog behaviors are often more intense and scarier than possum behaviors, this can feel like your child is ‘getting worse.’It’s actually a sign of healing, and here’s why!In this episode, you’ll learnWhy kids who have a lot of possum behavior can sometimes become kids who have a lot of watchdog ...
This episode originally aired on December 22, 2020, episode 8:::I love love love talking about self-compassion for two main reasons. #1- Self-Compassion is solidly anchored in the relational neurosciences- and you know how much I love...and need...for things to be anchored in science. #2- Self-compassion has tenacity. There's no way out. Self-compassion has an answer for all your reasons why you aren't worthy of self-compassion. I love that about self-compassion ...
Is it possible to feel better even if your child’s behavior doesn’t change?Even if the stress doesn’t change?Theoretically, yes.Your chronic watchdog or possum state means you are in chronic protection mode. Is it possible to shift out of protection mode before the chaos in your life changes?That’s exactly what we address in today’s episode!In this episode, you’ll learnThe two different paths you can take to feel better (come out of protection mode) even if the chaos in your life never change...
This episode originally aired on September 20th, 2022Another important piece of understanding what is underneath your child's big, baffling behaviors is the Stress Response System. Our Stress Response System plays a huge role in our children's behaviors and also how we perceive those behaviors.In this episode, you’ll learn:What stress is and how to differentiate good stress from bad stressThe impact of trauma and toxic stress to the Stress Response SystemHow to build resilience in a sensitize...
Settle in for a fun and inspiring chat with hosts from Therapist Uncensored and authors of the new release Secure Relating, Sue Marriott & Ann Kelley.In this episode, you’ll learnHow responding to our children’s (and partner’s) needs in the present moment, instead of from a place of anxious or avoidant states, can improve our relationshipsAbout the intersection of attachment and trauma in our systems of care- like the child welfare and mental health systemsHow much hope there is when we s...
This episode originally aired on August 1st, 2023Parenting a child with a vulnerable nervous system can feel like navigating a maze blindfolded. But what if we told you that understanding the balance between enabling and co-regulation could be your guiding light? This week, we break down this crucial contrast, demystifying the term 'enabling', often misconstrued in the mental health field, and venture into the science behind lowering demands - a strategy that can bolster your child’s stress r...
I’m sure you’ve had moments (days, weeks, months) where it felt hard, maybe even impossible, to keep offering connection to your child.It is hard to offer connection to someone who seems to constantly reject it!If it feels hard to keep offering your child connection, I actually want you to shift your focus. Don’t prioritize offering connection to your child. Instead think about:Who can offer YOU connection?How can you offer connection to yourself?Who could you offer connection to who is able ...
:::Reframing Resistance: Supporting Parents & Caregivers through the lens of Relational Neuroscience3-hour virtual workshop for professionalsJune 25, 10-1pm easternEveryone receives the recordinghttps://RobynGobbel.com/ReframingResistance I'll be keynoting the Families Rising (formerly NACAC!) VIRTUAL conference this summer!All the details are here: RobynGobbel.com/FamiliesRising :::Overwhelmed and unsure where to start? Check out the START HERE podcast- I put it together just to answer t...
If regulated, connected kids who feel safe do well, does that mean connected kids are always cooperative?Definitely not! In fact, there’s a level of connection to others- and to themselves! - that invites in the safety to be UNcooperative!In this episode, you’ll learnHow safety can invite both cooperative and UNcooperative behaviorWhy too much cooperation would actually be a bad thingHow parenting with co-regulation and connection helps kids become more connected to themselvesResources mentio...
This is NOT an episode about how to make your kid go to school. What you WILL learn in this episode:What is pathological demand avoidance, or PDA?Schools valuing attendance above all is not helpfulYou are a good parent even if your kid doesn’t go to schoolThat sometimes, all we have to do is be niceResources mentioned in this podcast:Can’t Not Won’t by Eliza FrickerThe Family Experience of PDA by Eliza FrickerThe Educator's Experience of PDA by Eliza FrickerHow to Connect with Eliza Fric...
The question of ‘can I heal’ or 'can my child heal' or ‘how do I (or my child) heal’ is a tricky one. Healing is a word that gets used a lot without really pausing to ask ourselves what it actually means. If we are aiming for a nebulous goal that hasn’t been defined, it will feel impossible to reach. Impossible tasks often feel hopeless.In this episode, you’ll learnWhy it’s most useful to stay focused on widening our window of stress toleranceHow co-regulation contributes to healing...
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